I was talking with my artist friend Sonya Ko the other day about how her work reminded me of the great Ralph Steadman. Steadman was the "Goose" to Hunter S. Thompson's "Maverick." They were partner's in crime on many a project: Thompson supplied the words, Steadman made them come to life with his illustrations. If you've seen the cover of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, you've seen his work. (If you haven't seen that cover, you should consider coming out from underneath your rock and joining us here in the 21st century. It's nice here.) His illustrations are a hurricane of color and lines, moving 100mph, out of control, ready to offend and disrupt anything or anyone in their path. They're wreckless, crazed, manic. In short they're awesome.
Some fun facts about Steadman and Thompson:
- They met in Kentucky (my old homestead) where Hunter was born.
- When Hunter S. Thompson died, they fired his ashes out of a cannon at his funeral. We're probably breathing in microscopic bits of his innards as we speak.
- Thompson wrote a script with his neighbor, actor Don Johnson, for a two hour TV movie called "Bridges" about an ex-druggy cop who works in LA with his latino partner and dates a mob boss' daughter. It was rejected, but NBC bought the script and later turned it into a show my mother would watch religiously called "Nash Bridges."
- Thompson accidentally shot his assistant while trying to scare a bear off of his property.
- Under the Freak Power Party ticket, Thompson ran for Sheriff of Aspen, Colorado in 1969. He barely lost.
- Thompson missed his high school graduating exercises because he was in jail for robbery. Took a writing course in jail.
OK, so most of those were about Thompson and not Steadman, but Thompson just caused so much more mischief and mayhem.
On my iTunes: Elvis Presley's "Love Me Tender." Now there was a hunk-a-hunk of burnin' love.